Cover image for Danza! : Amalia Hernández and el Ballet Folklórico de México
Title:
Danza! : Amalia Hernández and el Ballet Folklórico de México
ISBN:
9781419725326
Physical Description:
29 pages : color illustrations ; 29 cm.
Corporate Subject:
Genre:
Summary:
Award-winning author and illustrator Duncan Tonatiuh tells the story of Amalia Hernandez, dancer and founder of El Ballet Folklorico de Mexico. Published in time for the 100th anniversary of Hernandez's birth, Danza! is the first picture book about the famous dancer and choreographer. Danza! is a celebration of Hernandez's life and of the rich history of dance in Mexico. As a child, Amalia always thought she would grow up to be a teacher, until she saw a performance of dancers in her town square. She was fascinated by the way the dancers twirled and swayed, and she knew that someday she would be a dancer, too. She began to study many different types of dance, including ballet and modern, under some of the best teachers in the world. Hernandez traveled throughout Mexico studying and learning regional dances. Soon she founded her own dance company, El Ballet Folklorico de Mexico, where she integrated her knowledge of ballet and modern dance with folkloric dances. The group began to perform all over the country and soon all over the world, becoming an international sensation that still tours today. Duncan Tonatiuh's picture books have been honored with many awards and accolades, including the Pura Belpre Award, the Robert F. Sibert Award, and the New York Times Best Illustrated Book Award. With Tonatiuh's distinctive Mixtec-inspired artwork and colorful drawings that seem to leap off the page, Danza! will enthrall and inspire young readers with the fascinating story of this important dancer and choreographer. --
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Summary

Summary

Award-winning author and illustrator Duncan Tonatiuh tells the story of Amalia Hernández, dancer and founder of El Ballet Folklórico de México.

Published in time for the 100th anniversary of Hernández's birth, Danza! is the first picture book about the famous dancer and choreographer.

Danza! is a celebration of Hernández's life and of the rich history of dance in Mexico. As a child, Amalia always thought she would grow up to be a teacher, until she saw a performance of dancers in her town square. She was fascinated by the way the dancers twirled and swayed, and she knew that someday she would be a dancer, too. She began to study many different types of dance, including ballet and modern, under some of the best teachers in the world. Hernández traveled throughout Mexico studying and learning regional dances. Soon she founded her own dance company, El Ballet Folklórico de México, where she integrated her knowledge of ballet and modern dance with folkloric dances. The group began to perform all over the country and soon all over the world, becoming an international sensation that still tours today.

Duncan Tonatiuh's picture books have been honored with many awards and accolades, including the Pura Belpré Award, the Robert F. Sibert Award, and the New York Times Best Illustrated Book Award. With Tonatiuh's distinctive Mixtec-inspired artwork and colorful drawings that seem to leap off the page, Danza! will enthrall and inspire young readers with the fascinating story of this important dancer and choreographer.


Author Notes

Duncan Tonatiuh was born in Mexico City and grew up in San Miguel de Allende, in the historical state of Guanajuato, Mexico. He studied writing and illustration at Parsons School of Design at the New School in New York City. His books have received many awards over the years. He divides his time between New York City and Mexico.


Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

Tonatiuh follows his picture book biographies of Diego Rivera and José Guadalupe Posada with a vibrant introduction to a Mexican artist who made her mark in the arena of dance. Inspired by the danzas she saw performed on the streets of Mexico City as a child, Amalia Hernández went on to study ballet before being exposed to modern dance. Eventually, she became a choreographer and founded a company that sought to pay tribute to Mexico's past and present, fusing her study of traditional dances from across the country ("She paid special attention to the steps, the music, and the outfits people wore") with top-notch production values. Employhis his customary brand of Mixtec-inspired collage, Tonatiuh makes expert use of photographic bits of lace, cloth, and hair to bring warmth to the dancers, who dip and turn on each spread. A closing note and glossary provide additional context and insight. Ages 6-10. (Aug.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Kirkus Review

An ode to Mexico's rich heritage of indigenous dance. Amalia Hernndez was born in Mexico City in 1917 and saw her first local dance performance when still a young girl. Entranced, she determined to become a dancer, and with her parents' encouragement, she began to study ballet and, later, modern dance. She then started to choreograph, basing her steps on "folkloric danzas" similar to what she had seen as a child. Hernndez followed this first foray by forming her own small troupe and fashioning numbers based on Mexico's many different traditions and indigenous danzas. Her work melded old traditions with ballet and modern dance and was filled with drama, featuring colorful costumes and sets. Works based on Mexican history also became part of her company's repertoire, along with music from Europe such as the waltz. National and international success and acclaim followed for her company, El Ballet Folklrico de Mxico. Tonatiuh tells Hernndez's story with careful attention to detail and with obvious admiration for the subject, adding in his author's note how popular Mexican dance is across both Mexico and the United States. His digitized, hand-drawn illustrations are striking. They showcase, in his signature style based on Mixtec art, the beauty and grace of many different dance styles. Play music from Mexico and dance to the beat. (glossary, bibliography, index) (Picture book/biography. 6-10) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Booklist Review

*Starred Review* In his latest picture-book biography, Tonatiuh celebrates the work of Amalia Hernández, the dancer, instructor, and choreographer who founded the Ballet Folklórico de México in 1952. Born in Mexico City in 1917, Ami was enthralled as a child by dancers in a town square. Growing up, she studied both ballet and modern dance. After choreographing a piece based on the street performers who first inspired her, she began to travel throughout the country and learn its local, indigenous dances. These led her to choreograph many distinctive pieces for the Ballet Folklórico, which has traveled the world performing ballets based on Mexican traditional dances. The text also links Mexican folkloric dance to Cinco de Mayo festivities in the U.S. Right down to the endpapers, this beautifully designed, large-format picture book is a showcase for Tonatiuh's distinctive illustrations, drawings with digital collage elements that add colors, patterns, and textures to strong, well-delineated forms. An interesting author's note, a useful glossary, and a source bibliography are appended. This concise, informative biography includes compelling details, such as Ami's father's initial resistance to her learning dance, and mentions that although Hernández died in 2000, her ballet company still performs in Mexico and throughout the world. Brava!--Phelan, Carolyn Copyright 2017 Booklist